tv American Politics CSPAN April 18, 2010 6:30pm-8:00pm EDT
these dry out for weeks and sometimes months. -- these and drag it out -- these drag out for weeks and sometimes months. it is something the republicans will play as a responsible. -- as irresponsible. >> they will not be able to do reconciliation if they have issues they want to take care of without senate filibusters. by not having a budget,?l they cannot do reconciliation later. zfñ>> did you hear him rule outt raising taxes? >> i did not hear him rule out or rule in -- he very delicately handled the question of how both taxes and entitlement programs are going
to be dealt with after november. one of the reasons for the commission was the idea that congress is just politically incapable of doing either of these things -- restructuring to raise taxes. the commission is going to very likely recommend either or both. i cannot imagine we will hear any kind of commitment on any of >> the commission report is after the election. that is no accident. i thought he was enthusiastic about getting some big issues taken care of. members do not want to go through the other fights. the democrats think they have a political winner in the regulatory-reform issue. people do not like the banks right now. even if the democrats and republicans man together, it is
a win-winu situation. >> do you have been on capitol hill covering this. -- >> you have been on capitol hill covering this. what did you think about what he said on immigration? >> the house is not going to start anything. realistically, people do not expect, on top of everything else, to get into a big knock down, drag out fight over immigration. it is good for its own personal reelection chances. -- for his own personal reelection chances. something could happen, but it would late -- it would be later after the supreme court nomination and confirmation hearings, which the house does not deal with.
>> do you x at the confirmation hearings will dominate the summit agenda -- do you expect that the confirmation hearings will dominate the summer agenda? >> it is mostly in committee. it does demand a lot of attention. people who do immigration in the senate are on the judiciary committee. they will be busy with the confirmation. senator reid is waiting for others to produce a bill. >> thank you both. we appreciate it. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> coming up, republican and democratic senators talk about their delegation to afghanistan
and pakistan. we will look at unemployment, foreclosure, and bankruptcy here in the united states. >> this weekend, the first of three british election debates. for the first time, prime minister gordon brown, the conservative party leader david cameron, and to nick cleg will hold u.s.-style debate. the first is coutonight at 9:00 eastern and pacific here on c- span. >> up next, republican and democratic senators discussed their delegations to afghanistan and pakistan. this portion is about 40 minutes.
>> what is our exit strategy in afghanistan? my response was, i think it is a strategy -- president obama had just laid out a strategy, including 10,000 marines, 7000 army, about 150 helicopters. more u.s. troops. the strategy that the president has laid out is not just a military surge for personnel. it involves a lot on the civilian side, including
trainers for the afghan national army and afghan national police. we have about 1000 civilians working as part of the civilian surge. what we're seeing is a situation where we have an opportunity to evaluate whether the strategy is being implemented well. i think it is. the key is to have terrific leadership. we have that in general mcchrystal on the military side and in the secondary on the civilian side -- in eikenberry on the civilian side. we've met a number of people, including president karzai and ministers in his cabinet. we met with our troops.
we had the opportunity -- some of you may remember that bill "sleeping with the enemy -- the film "sleeping with the enemy." what we have done is -- we do not have the u.s. out by themselves. we are very integrated into this. we eat with them. we sleep in the same areas. we lead operations. it is a very much integrated roll. -- role. we put them among the people that we are there to protect.
we also spent a couple of days in pakistan meeting with the top political and military leadership it is an exciting time -- military leadership. it is an exciting time for them as they vote for an amendment to restore democracy to that part of the world. we traveled to the western parts of afghanistan and pakistan. we looked at that training that was going on to begin to bring people back to their homes there. it is a situation there in both countries -- it is not hopeless. we have terrific leadership. we have a plan that we're executing. i am delighted that senator john
ensign could go as . we came to the senate together in 2001. we're joined by a new senator. what was your name? joined by scott brown from massachusetts. we were delighted to get to know him and delighted that he could come with us. >> thank you. let me give you a couple of takeaways that i had from the trip. i was pretty skeptical going over there. i have confidence in general mcchrystal. i saw what he and others were able to accomplish in iraq. i think afghanistan is much more challenging. i came away more hopeful after our trip. that is because of being on the ground and seeing exactly what they are doing. i think that they have put together, from the civilian
side, as well as the military side, a plan that has the best chance of working. having said that, i do not know whether it will work. it is in our american interest that the plan be carried out and given the best chance to work. stability in the region is critical for our national security. i think we need a great pat on the back and a shout-out to our military and civilian personnel who are over there in very dangerous conditions. they are doing a fabulous job. one highlight of the trip was meeting some of the people from back in the states. i also enjoyed meeting with some of the afghans themselves. sitting down and hearing what their perspective is --across the board, whether in afghanistan -- sitting down in
hearing what their perspective is -- across the board, whether in afghanistan or pakistan -- the key is not the military. the key is winning the hearts and minds of the afghan people and the pakistani people. that is why the clear, hold- build strategy is so critical. the end of that is the transfer. the reason i do not know if it will work is because of the last aspect. i think we can clear, hold, and build. i have complete confidence in our ability, along with our allies. the challenge is to transfer that to the afghans. they just do not have any kind of infrastructure. iraq had a functioning
government, even though it was a dictatorship. that is the biggest challenge in afghanistan. the other take awaaway is a poly that i disagreed with. the only question i have is our policy on the poppies. we had an eradication policy going on. what was being done in columbia and other parts -- i think that eradication needs to be part of the strategy. i believe in incentives. i believe it also needs to come with a warning for the farmers about eradicating the poppy fields. when we flew over the kandahar province, it was poppy fields everywhere. there were in full bloom.
it was blatant. -- they were in full bloom. it was blatant. i think we need to change our strategy there. i would really complement general mcchrystal and ambassador eikenberry and the obama administration for the job they are doing in afghanistan. in pakistan, i came away more encouraged. i think their civilian and military leadership gives the country a lot of hope. it is important that they recognize what a threat the taliban is to their country. we do not hear a lot about it. they have major military operations going against the taliban and they are forcing the taliban back into afghanistan, which allows us to track them -- trap them.
there is cooperation happening there. hopefully, the pakistani people will recognize the good that the american people are also doing for the people of pakistan. lastly, it is critical for the united states and our national interests that pakistan be a stable country and that it not fall into the hands of the taliban. it is in our interest to make sure there is stability in the region. it was a pleasure to be on the trip. our staff did a great job on this. tom carper's staff did a great job with a trip -- with the trip. >> i will make my comments brief. senator carper is a real leader. it was an honor to be on the team.
i look forward to going on at more of these. we were really -- ongoing -- i look forward to going on more of these. we were really able to engage with the embassy staff and leaders. there is a lot we're going to take and work in the appropriate manner. i agree with the pop the issue and think that it is -- with the poppy issue and it is something that we need to get a handle on. every country, every person, every leader -- from the top all the way down to the regular pomegranate farmer -- they want jobs.
it is very frustrating but we're not talking about it here. -- it is very frustrating that we're not talking about it here. the last people on the street wondering into -- wandering into taliban-controlled areas -- that is a good thing. we need jobs here. i am hopeful that we will start to focus on that. i will step aside and let the congressman talk and then briefly take your questions. >> first congressional district of virginia. >> america's first district. senator carper, you are with us. it was an honor. what a great group. senator ensign, senator brown.
we had great folks and a great chemistry. it was a great compliment. i want to give accolades to the staff who did a wonderful job in putting this together and making sure that we were able to access those decision makers that are critical in what is going on in that region. in addition, i want to pull all out that -- i want to point out what i came away with from the trip. there was high morale on the civilian and military side. when we sat down to talk with them, whether at lunch or in formal settings, to a person, they were extraordinarily positive about what was going on over there and their mission, as well as what they have accomplished. i took away from that a positive feeling about our efforts over there. we asked some detailed questions about what they were doing and
how they felt. as i said, on the civilian side, we talked to folks from up and down the variety of agencies. there were very positive about the things they were doing, on governance, communications, positive about the pieces coming together on our side and the afghanistan side. our folks and pakistan were helping many elements of the armed forces there -- are folks in pakistan are helping many elements of the armed forces there to make sure they are effective in mounting their offensive against the taliban. i found a great sense of optimism there. the frontier scouts -- we have an opportunity to visit them. they were all very complimentary of our advisers that were there. from top to bottom, what i found is that on the military and civilian sides, people are
committed and passionate and optimistic. it is something that made us all feel hopeful. i think you heard us collectively say that we're hopeful. we are realistic about the challenges. as the offensive in kandahar gears up, we know there will be challenges. we're hopeful because of the things we have learned. hopefully, we will continue to apply those. there was a high level of morale and a commitment and passion. i think with that attitude and a high morale, we stand a high sense -- a high chance of combating extremism. i appreciate the opportunity to join you. >> questions?
>> good afternoon. i am very pleased to be able to report on the trip that senator kaufman, senator hagan and i took to -pack -- took to pakistan in the week prior to easter. i want to thank ted and kay for their collaboration on the trip. i want to elaborate on this. we will then go from there. in iraq -- this was my 15th visit -- there are more things holding it together then there are pulling it apart -- than there are pulling it apart. there are still fault lines. general oh dear no -- general oh deadierno and others are
working on the situation. sectarian violence is still there. it does not have the effect it used to have. it used to ignite widespread counter-violence. radical sunni elements are trying to -- through car bombs, a tax on buildings -- inside the same kind of violence -- attacks on buildings -- incite the same kind of violence that they were a few years ago. that is not happening. in pakistan, it looks like the country might collapse a few years ago. the taliban was within 60 miles of islamabad. there were real calibrating their whole strategy. -- t day or three calibrating --
they were recalibarting their whole strategy -- they were re- calibrating their whole strategy. today, the understanding is leading to closer cooperation. they are not yet firmly committed to using their resources fully against these elements. they have provided a relatively permissive element -- environment for us to operate against those forces, including against al-qaeda so that we can take steps to degrade their capabilities. afghanistan -- we are witnessing a reversal in the the military
mission on the ground. -- in the military mission on the ground. it may not result in their ability to control the country. the likely result was the civilization of afghanistan being set back immensely. operations that are happening now will continue to show the nato forces are gaining initiative and momentum on the military level today operations around kandahar -- on the military level in the operations around kandahar. we can hold, we can clear territory, we can build local efforts. those local efforts are not as yet forthcoming. president karzai has been a
the center of attention. he shares the perspective that is not uncommon in pakistan. his first sense of loyalty anis to his family, the tribe, and then to the nation of afghanistan. he is not unique in that regard. that is not uncommon. it sets up tension. nato's orientation is primarily to the nation of afghanistan to build structures, to build governmental capacity. that is a given. we had george washington in the united states. there are very few countries in the world that have a george washington. however, the difficulties in the last election and the challenge we have now is working with the
recognized government of afghanistan and president karzai, and finding ways to work at the local level simultaneously so that we're able to deliver the capacity in the field to complement our military operations. let me make some specific points. the drawdown is on track. troops are leaving. the plan is in place. equipment is being redeployed. the election represented a triumph of nationalism and secularism over sectarian partisanship. it is not clear who will emerge as the prime minister, but it is clear that the people did not embrace sectarianism.
one thing that was pointed out to us was that the withdrawal of american forces from the cities was a real success and a confidence to an iraqi security forces -- gave confidence to the iraqi security forces. we pulled our forces out and began to look more at withdrawal. we are confident that by september, we will have 50,000 troops in iraq. we have to do more to secure the border. there are some resurgent organizations that are not tied to the al-qaeda necessarily. they might be more dangerous because they are native iraqis, not foreign fighters. bachus don is still ambivalent about our presence -- pakistan
is still ambivalent about our presence. they have a preoccupation with india. afghanistan -- operations in morarjah -- it was essentially forced entry. we cleared buildings. that has preceded effectively -- proceeded effectively, but getting the government in place is still a challenge. the next operation will be not putting forces on the the key routes in and out of cities, but interdicting some of the pa
ths and using the force is to start stabilizing the community -- the forces to start stabilizing the community. this will be a political test for president karzai, because this is where his power base is located. he will have to step up and make critical decisions. he has to operate with us. there are signs that he recognizes this. he went with general mcchrystal down to kandahar and talk to the local police about the importance of that operation to show his support. it is reminiscent of a choice that the prime minister had back in iraq, where he decided he was going to direct forces against his own constituency. that proved to be a turning point in his career, internally
and externally. two other points -- the rules of engagement. general mcchrystal is insistent upon the importance of minimizing civilian casualties. this is not an edict from the top. this is from the man who understands that casualties among the afghans set us back in terms of operations being honorable. the forces understand the nature of the rules of engagement. we have reports that operations along the pakistani border are better. the pakistanis are more cooperative. if we can seal that border effectively, that will assist us immensely in afghanistan. let me stop there. >> senator kay hagan.
>> thank you. i will tell you, it was an incredible experience for me to get to go along on this trip with senator jack reed, who believe has been to iraq about 15 times now and afghanistan 9. my other colleague, senator kaufman from delaware, with all his experience. it was incredible for me to join them. i want to emphasize the importance that my state, north carolina, brings to the table. many military troops that we have stationed there -- the 82nd airborne, the second marine expeditionary group of the marines, national guard members who have done to group tours -- have done two tours. we have a lot to be proud of. i enjoyed eating lunch with the
so we are trying to take many different measures to prevent that from happening. at the same time, not hurting the farmers. the idea is we have to provide seeds and other crops, which civilians are doing a very good job of to help the afghanis grow other crops. there was a seed give-away. a suicide bomber, a female on a bicycle, came in and blew up people. i know senator harry reid has gone over detail. it was my first time going to iraq, my second time in pakistan and afghanistan, and i do think that as we pull down, we have heard about moving about 3.1 million pieces of equipment out of iraq, whether it will be re-
conditioned or bringing some of the home, it is a huge undertaking, and i think our military and our contractors are doing a great job. there is the experience and the excellent qualifications of our ambassadors in all three countries where we work. particularly, when we were in iraq, prime minister maliki had just had the election, and he was, i think, just two seats behind his opponent. and one of the discussions we had with him was the importance of whether he wins or loses this is the importance of him being in charge of the caretaker process, and i think it is really interesting, too, that the iraqi security forces were out there protecting the people and not the regime, which has
been, i think, a shift. in pakistan, once again, i think our ambassador does an incredible job, and i just want to highlight the work at the state department is doing in pakistan, and then, obviously, in afghanistan, we had an opportunity to meet with president karzai, and i think that we are obviously seeing a lot of concern from many, many people. but we also understand how hard it is for him to continue doing the job that needs to be done, and we, obviously, talk about moving out provincial governors that are corrupt, and that was a
huge factor that we questioned him about and ask him about -- asked him about, and we are concerned about are civilians. those helping with agricultural and other aspects that need to help along with the government, and we need more of those, and we have conversations with the state department about that. one of the opportunities i was particularly interested in, in pakistan, which were able to go out to a forward operating space, which we were able to go out to a forward operating space -- we were able to go out to afford operating space, and we were policing a checkpoint together, and that is the kind of work that i think general
mcchrystal is looking to to make sure that we can train the afghan national army and then let them take over, and i think that was a good exercise for me to witness, and then the last thing i wanted to share, at the fort operating base, we participated -- at the ford operating base -- forward operating base. it felt like in any municipality -- an enemy municipality. i think that that reinforces, too, the counterinsurgency that general mcchrystal is talking about, where we go into the discussions directly one on one with the government leaders, and we certainly heard quite a bit that day. it was a tribal leader, his
chief of police, and his chief of security, and what he needed in this small village, which was, i think, about 5000 people. i had an incredible experience, and, once again, i think our military is top notch. >> when i write my tour guide, i am going to say that you have to go with him. it is worth it just being around him. kay hagin, she always asks the right questions. and the other thing is, in a portion of the world where i think we all agree that one of the great things missing from this part of the world is the role of women, and not the role of women -- they are missing such an incredible asset. it is hard to believe that you can pull these countries together if they do not start
using their women, and kay hagin is the absolute best example you could ever take to these countries on how well, but women are -- on how well competent women are. it was really great. and i think that both jack and kay have covered all but just a couple of points that i will make. in iraq and afghanistan first. we have been concerned about it ever since the first trip i took one year ago. what is going to happen in northern iraq? it is clear that the only thing that the sunni and shia agree on is that they do not like the kurds, and how that will work out. we went up to kirkuk, and things are on a hair trigger. the iraqi troops, they just got a new general.
when you went away for the briefing, you had the idea that within three or four months, people were going to be shooting. the quality of our military is incredible, and an example is general odierno, who is absolutely incredible. when he did, he went up there, and as you know, there is a piece of land that is under dispute. it is where the kurds were pushed out, and they think they should be able to come back. there also has to be about one- third of the oil that is under this particular piece of land, so it is serious. things started breaking up, and what general odierno did was, he said, "ok, from now on," and i think there are over 20 checkpoints, when they go on patrols, they go in three.
we went where saddam was caught. where they go, there are three. when they go into town, they go into towns where they are accepted, absolutely incredible, and the of the and i would say is we are making progress. -- the other thing i would say is we are making progress. a clipboard with a checklist on it. wherever you see a checklist, we are getting out of their regionthere. -- we are getting out of there. i think the momentum is back on our side. clearly, the biggest problem is governance. we met with the folks you are doing the civilian surge throughout that area, and it
was truly, truly impressive about how the u.s. civilians and the iraqi civilians were working together and had the support of the military. you actually can see -- you know, this really could work. the of the thing i would say is if i took you in a helicopter -- the other thing i would say is this, if i took in a helicopter at about 500 feet, at night, you could not tell if you're going over an american city. you look down, and the cars are moving, neon lights, markets, people moving around. in the daylight, you can tell because the architecture is a much different, but at night, it is really incredible how normal it looks. pakistan, as jack said, the only reason i am repeating it is because it is worth repeating,
remember, the taliban had moved into one valley. it was clear that the military did not know how to deal with it. is it ideal? no, it is not ideal. but we're making progress. there was a good story today in "the washington post." one of the reasons they can go into north waziristan, you have to have enough troops. in south waziristan, they go in, and a clear, because they have enough troops. -- and they cleared. it is a really serious problem. -- and a clear -- and they clear, because they have enough troops. they have got the president's attention. they have got the prime minister. they have got everybody's attention. that is before us.
-- they have got us. >> another briefing at c- span.org. senate leaders are planning to bring up new financial regulations this week on the senate floor. the house has already passed a similar bill. the chair, christopher dodd, is developing another bill, and while negotiating continues on that, there will be more on president obama as judicial nomination. -- president obama's judicial nomination. there is also talk of the repealing of the district gun- control law. >> we have another winner of the c-span documentary competition. we asked middle and high school students to share their thoughts on the country's greatest strengths or a challenge that
the country is facing. today, we have a 12 greater at the senior high school in florida. -- we have a 12th grader. >> thank you very much, and thank you for having me today. >> why did you select this topic? >> i was doing an internship for special olympics in washington, d.c., and at the white house always interested me, as well, and i walked by the white house one day, and i saw these protesters, and i said, "hey, these people would be needed to tell a story about them which a would-be -- these people would be neat to tell a story about them." so i expanded on that for my documentary. >> how many days did you spend at the white house? >> one month, almost every day after work, and i spend anywhere
from one alabama three hours there, so i was working with -- and i spend anywhere from one alabama three hours there -- and i spent anywhere from one to hour to three hours there. i spoke to many, many people, and there are continuous protesters, and some do not like to call themselves "protesters." they like to call themselves "demonstrators." one woman, conception, she has been there protesting about nuclear war since 1981. some people caught my attention were some with a networked --
network, knead, like with bread, and they have a petition for clean energy, organic gardening classes in every school, solar power, passenger trains connecting every city, universal health care, and they will pay for it all with ending the war, a global cease-fire, and they were really neat guys. \ -- guys. i grew close to them. >> how did your view on freedom of speech change? >> i thought you could go to the white house, the place where your president lives, and say what you want. there were people out there with shirts with, you know, expletives on there, and they are allowed to be there. i thought it was great, demonstrating our freedoms, but then, there are limitations on them, like we just talked about,
the park police officer, where the permitting process, where you have to be in certain places to speak freely, and when the president comes, you have to move across the street, but it is all very interesting. i learned that with those freedoms, there are certain limitations. >> congratulations again on your wedding. >> thank you very much. >> and here is -- congratulations again on your winning. >> thank you very much. >> and here is a clip from noah's documentary. >> others are here for a lifetime. >> anti-nuclear. >> so how long are you going to stay? >> my life is already here. >> all of them determined to exercise their first amendment rights at the gates of the place
where executive decisions are made. >> you can see noah's documentary and all of the others online. >> a look now at unemployment, foreclosure, and bankruptcy in the country. this is about 40 minutes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] to well, this reporter from the associated press to talk about it -- we want you to welcome this reporter from the associated press to talk about the economy. guest: we seem to have stabilized. there has been good news lately, but there are still some threats in terms of mounting a sustainable recovery. host: this is a cover story that has been getting a lot of attention. your response? guest: well, you can only go by
the numbers and what is out there in the real world. what seems to be happening is the unemployment rate peacked in ked in october. it is now at 9.7%. in march, we created 160,000 jobs, the best performance in three years. people are definitely encouraging. if you look at march air year ago, we were losing -- a year ago, we were losing 700,000 jobs. when you have an unemployment rate of 9.7%, that is still very high. host: this is from "washington journal-- from "the wall street
journal", looking at the map, the san bernardino, california is hard hit. why? guest: the sand states have been hard hit because it was led by a collapse in the housing industry. states like california, like nevada, like florida that had a big boom in housing, when that collapsed, they were hardest hit. host: reaction to the goldman sachs story? does that have an impact in confidence people have in wall street? or is that inside wall street, washington beltway types story? guest: it probably does. the stock market took a hit after that news. goldman sachs' stock was down. we will have to see how that plays out. investors are worried that is
not the only shoe to drop. there are other companies that are under investigation. there are other things to be found out. host: we are talking with martin crutsinger. mike joins us. how did this map come about? marty indicated you went to school to learn how to do this. guest: we were trying to figure out a way to show where the stress was being felt the worst around the nation. we wanted to look at the different points along a downward spiral. first you lose your job, then you cannot make your mortgage, then your file for bankruptcy. we thought these three variables would be a nice measure for getting a sense of the economic
pain all around the country, and especially at eight state and county level -- a state and county the level. host: what surprised you most? guest: the variations. what was the most startling was looking at the changes from october, 2008, and how the pain of the recession up until then, from december, 2007, until october, 2008, was limited to a handful of states going through the housing crisis, like california, florida, and nevada. after that, but you really see the colors on the map darken and change.
you can see that stress is spreading to the interior, hitting a manufacturing communities through the industrial midwest, spreading north along the pacific coast up into organic -- into oregon. and spreading from the east coast, spreading westward into the industrial midwest, until a hit this protective zone, that goes down from montana, wyoming, nebraska, kansas, and texas that have not felt the pain from the recession as other parts have appeare. host: this is one sample that was indicated in "the wall street journal". if you go to kings county, california, the unemployment rate is 18.2%.
in san bernadino valley, it is 14.4%. in nevada, it's 16.5%. the foreclosure rate is 7.5%. guest: it is a poster county for economic stress. they were a bedroom community, they still are for metro las vegas. you saw home construction with people commuting to las vegas. with the housing bubble bursting, they felt the pain. host: moving to the north east. heron county, ohio. unemployment at 18.1%. further down into a central ohio, unemployment rate is below
10%. guest: right. that is probably one of the few counties in ohio where it is below 10%. ohio has felt the pain from manufacturing jobs, as well as some of those in neighboring states, such as indiana and michigan. host: the map looks at the financial stress across the country. tell us aware of -- what it is like where you live. this map that has every county across the country, looking at the bankruptcy rate, the unemployment rate, and the foreclosure rate. there was in the 1980's, the missouri index -- the misery indiex. ex. guest: it started before ronald reagan. it was created in 1970's, a
period where we had stagflation. we have high inflation, but the economy was going to successive recessions and unemployment remains high. you added the high inflation and high unemployment and you've got a misery index. the unemployment now is not as high as 1982. unemployment hit a peak of 10.8%. our peak is 10.1% it so far. inflation has been much more contained this time around. the misery index, the readings will not be the same. if you do not have a job, that is the biggest part of the index. that is a factor in the midterm elections. host: martin crutsinger is here in our studio. mike schneider joining us ont
h the phone. in california, in the northern part of the state, the unemployment rate is 23%. guest: california is not the state that is experiencing the most economic pain. that title belongs to nevada. what you find in california is their counties dominate the list of counties experiencing economic pain. a lot of these counties are inland, as you mentioned, san bernardine, riverside. that has to do with the housing crisis. same with a lot of the counties in the central valley that have unemployment rates approaching 20%. those were bedroom communities that were built for people
commuting from san jose. the counties in california do dominate the list of the most stressed counties in the nation. host: john is joining us from roskam, florida, on the republican line. caller: how do we give out of this mess if you do not find the private sector? now they want to fund financial reform? and no one knows about business in this is administration. i am waiting for them to have a press conference without a teleprompter. congress only has a 10% approval rating. i hear we are bankrupt. what can we do? it is a big mess if you do not get the private sector involved.
the government will expand, but that is no way to get out of this mess. he will help foreign countries long before he helps us. he sent $10 billion down to brazil to make george soros richer. in 10 years, we will be in the 68% tax bracket. we do not have any money. how can we keep buying, paying, and spending if you do not get the private sector into it? . . guest: well, the jobs will have to be created in the private sector. i think he is right on that account, but, you know, marty, i will pass the baton to marty.
>> you are right. this is what people on capitol hill have been worried about. the stimulus package one year ago last february, a lot of that money was aimed at trying to infrastructure projects, things like that, and there were tax cuts in there, as well, efforts that will jump start hiring in the private sector. so far, this recession has been so deep that that has been lagging, but there was encouragement in march, and an in play report, and one-third of that 160,000 jobs -- in march, and unemployment report. the encouraging part was the -- in march, an unemployment report. it was the most jobs in a few years in the private sector. compared to what we need to
erase job losses, at least it is a start, and he administration is hoping that is more money in the stimulus bill, as it gets out through the pipeline, and it starts projects, that that will help support it, and confidence among small businesses will grow as they see that the jobs are coming back, and we will see employment start to come back. host: as new numbers come in for each of the county's? >> there is usually about a six- week lag. this is when we get the data and do the analysis, but the great thing about the three variables we are using, the unemployment rate, the foreclosure rate, and the bankruptcy rate, we can get the county level data on a monthly basis, so we can kind of
get a month by month picture of how the economic situation is changing or revolving across the country. viewers want to go to this map, where can they go? guest: they can google associated press economic stress index. and they should be able to find it that way. host: our next call, illinois. good morning. caller: good morning. i've been thinking about the unemployment situation for some time, and i'm wondering if the united states could not mimic what we did in irpe after -- europe after world war ii by creating our own marshall plan. specifically, is it possible to take areas of our cities that almost look like bombed-out parts of europe, parts of cleveland, parts of chicago,
detroit, trenton, and level them and then rebuild them as far as rebuilding factories, schools, hospitals, apartments, and then make deals with companies to fill these factories with job-producing eerpt prizes? -- enterprises? guest: well, there are portions of that stimulus package that i was talking about do that do have segments for infrastructure spending. i guess private economists would say that it's still very critical that we get the private sector generating jobs again. that you need that because that's where the job creation is in this country. and that for a sustainable recovery, that's what you need the most. that's where a lot of attention in the stimulus bill and the efforts that are being made, the federal reserve keeping interest rates at record low levels.
all of those things are kind of, to try to prime the pump, to get to build confidence in the private sector to start hiring again. host: let me go to earn ohio where the unemployment rate is above the national average at 13.6%, but the foreclosure rate is less than 2% and the bankruptcy also less than 2%. and just moving up north, again, 14.5% unemployment. the foreclosure and bankruptcy rate hovering around 2%. and then if you go to crawford county, pennsylvania, which is in the western part of the state, unemployment at 11%, foreclosure and bankruptcy is 0.25%. guest: right, i think what you're seeing there is basically they had a relatively stable housing market and it appears to be that those were areas where the loss of manufacturing jobs probably hit
them the hardest. and i'm guessing that they probably had a stable housing market, there wasn't as much housing built on speculation or they didn't suffer say the subprime mortgage crisis or bad loans were not made in as great a number as, say, states like florida or california. and as a result, you're not going to see, say, the same high numbers of foreclosure rates in those counties, say, as you are in the states where the housing bubble was the biggest. and, you know, what the stress map really does show you is that the economic stress kind of came in waves. and the first wave seems to be related to the housing crisis. and so you saw it in florida, california, nevada, and then
after, say, october of 2008, roughly, you see it becoming really hitting manufacturing communities, where the demand has dropped off. and so you're seeing a lot of layoffs in these communities. and so i think that's what you're probably seeing in ohio and western pennsylvania. and you're seeing pretty high unemployment rates, but you're really not seeing the foreclosure rates that you see, say, in the sun belt states. host: like clark county, nevada, the unemployment rate is about 14%. the foreclosure rate, 7.3% and the bankruptcy just over 3%. steve from missouri. good morning. caller: i won't ramible because i want to kind of connect two different thoughts but they are connected. i'd like to mention that i agree with your caller, he's from louisiana.
where you get c-span where you can get real independent view of issues of my -- my comment is, and the caller, the young lady from florida immediately afterwards who mentioned that it seemed to be a lot in the media and certain political areas want to characterize key party -- tea party people as racist when really the evidence is all to the contrary. and how that leads into the economic story the it's been 18 months now and the, the general public rl not seeing shovel ready jobs. they see continual extension of unemployment benefits but they don't really see any public works projects going on. yes, there has been encouraging news about the new jobs, but also on the other side in the
first quarter of this year foreclosures are running at a higher rate than they did last year. so there is not a concerted effort to present like c-span does and a few other news sources a picture of what's going on. i don't think our founding fathers could have envisioned the survival of our republic without a truly independent and free press. i think they would be shocked to see so much, such a high percentage of the mainstream media who have aligned themselves with one particular political party. and this just hasn't happened just in the last 18 months or two years. this has been a long progression over time. host: did you have a final point? or a question? caller: no. i just want to thank you for
your -- i'm sorry if i rambled. host: no. i just want to move on. i appreciate it. next is a county from new york. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm calling about the economic points being made. and i know for sure one thing, even though i don't know a lot about economics, you can't spend a whole lot more money than you don't have and the government has been doing it for a long time. but this is really on steroids. when you have the government taking over 50% of the public sector, that's a really bad thing because they don't run things very well. and as far as that stimulus bill, as far as i'm concerned, that was nothing but a big slush fund. all their pork barrel projects that they've had on hold for many, many years, then they have that omnibus bill, whatever -- i'm not sure what that was about. but the gentleman sitting there is right, that if you don't
budget, these things aren't budgetted for, this administration is so out of control with spending, that's the only thing they know how to do. and that stimulus bill was supposed to help our unemployment rate never ever to go past 8%. it's a slush fund to pay back the unions. this is so out of control. and i agree with the gentleman right before me. i was at my first tea party, and most of the people there, they were concerned about the economy, about the deficit. we are in trillions of dollars. and like i told the gentleman, i was interstrude by a local news channel, i was actually on television for about 20 seconds, and i said i'm here for my children and grandchildren. they're the ones who are going to pay. they're having this -- they have a credit card and they're well passed their limit and they're spending like drunkle sailors.
host: what are you hearing? guest: the caller certainly corrected, the deficits have reached levels that are just pretty amazing for what we would have thought before this recession. that we had a 1.4 trillion deficit for the budget year that ended september 30th. the administration is projecting that this deficit will be $1.6 trillion this year. and it's going to stay at very high levels for a considerable time. what the administration argues is that if -- that if they were not doing all of this spending, that the deficits would be even worse because the economy would be so much worse. that it was critical that this is the worst recession since the great depression, and that the concern was that if there wasn't a massive government effort to address it, that it would be as bad as the great depression.
which would be, instead of unemployment at 10%, we would be talking about unemployment at 25%, one out of four people out of work in the great depression. so their argument was that the spending had to be done to keep the economy from collapsing even further, and that as the economy starts coming back, as jobs start coming back, they will put in place a program to get the deficits under control. they have -- president obama has appointed a commission that's going to produce a report in december. host: after the mid-term election. guest: exactly. because it's likely that any choices will be painful, because, you know, whether you raise taxes, whether you cut spending, whatever combination of those that you try to do to get the deaf sits firmly on a
sustainable basis will be -- will cause political pain. host: we're talking about the economy. our guest is a senior writer for the associated press and mark is joining us on the phone from orlando and the ap financial stress index, which is available on line looking at what the economy is like, the foreclosure rate, bankruptcy and unemployment in your community, in your county. pam joining us from new york. good morning, democrat's line. caller: good morning. here in washington county, the last time i looked at a newspaper we had one column and a half of jobs. and we happen to be gearing up for the season. we are a resort community all around this area for lake george, new york. and the only things that are available are line cooks and dish washers. so it's pretty sad up here. i would say one thing. i think there's a story to be had for any investigative
journalist. i have been watching the foreclosure thing and scratching my head saying why aren't these banks modifying? why aren't they modifying? and i think that there is coming along a wave of commercial foreclosures. now, if they can sell a house at auction and those auctions are typically for cash only and they get $75,000 in for a house worth 125,000, then they are filling their coffers again, perhaps getting ready for the wave of commercial bankruptcies that are coming along. guest: i think that is interesting. the caller brought up that issue of the loan modifications. what we noticed in the past two months, in some of the hardest-
hit foreclosures states, such as california and nevada, there has been kind of a slowing down in the pace of foreclosures, and some of the people are crediting laws that the legislature has passed recently to give homeowners a little more breathing room to workout -- to work out, i guess, modifications with banks. those types of laws seem to be having some type of defect. i guess the real question is -- seem to be having some type of defect -- effect. host: jim is joining us from to duke. -- from another city. caller: if you catch in the unemployment the way they did in the 1980's, -- if you counted the unemployment, foreclosures
we had with the subprime or perhaps not even as significant as those that we will have in the next couple of years that our prime loans. prime turnover. loan modifications are redefaulting. we have a zombie bank system which has been allowed to perptwut itself by wave waiving the fass by rules so they're able to have myth logical vamus on the properties they have assets. our children won't pay this debt. we will default by inflating the currency. the children will pay by having a lower standard of living. you don't get rich by having more debt. host: marty. guest: well, the caller certainly is right as far as i think he's referring to the fact that the 9.7% national
unemployment rate that we had in march, that is, if you add the people who are looking, working part time, and other people that, the so-called under employed, that rate is at a record high of 16.9% or it is very high. the number of people that have been out of work for more than six months is at 6.5 million, and that is a record level. the federal reserve chairman referenced this point, if large number of people who have been out of work for six months or more is of great concern going forward. in testimony in congress this week he talked about the fact that the longer you're out of work, the dange is that you lose job skill and makes it harder to get back into it. so there is no getting around it. we've had a very bad recession
that we're still having to deal with. host: you indicated that as you go down the center part of the country from the dakotas to texas, a lot of white counties which refer to low stress index including, one example, stanten county, kansas, 3.5%, its foreclosure and bankruptcy rate is nedgible. guest: there's this swath that descends from north dakota all the way down through south dakota, nebraska, kansas, oklahoma and texas that largely were -- felt the recession i guess the least of any area of the country. and a lot of that has to do with the fact that they are agricultural states and counties, and energy states and counties. and for a while at least, that
protected them from the worst of the recession. but you're sort of finding now that wyoming has seen a little bit of an increase in stress because the energy prices aren't what they were say a year ago. but, still, compared to the rest of the country, these states and these counties really are doing much better than anywhere else. host: next is mark from port stnch lucie, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i appreciate your taking the call. i've been listening to a lot of the calls today and my opinion anyway is most people are just worried about the political end of it. the this divide that we have in this country, i heard a man from hills borrow talk about all of the spending and all the debt and all that stuff. but he forgot to mention that it started under that private enterprise administration of
dick cheney and george bush. so there's enough blame. and i think we need states people. i'm a little slanted in florida with housing being in such a bad shape, and it just affects so many things. and i would like to see the amount of money sent up to wall street be put into the housing crisis. when you start affecting plumbers and elect rigses and everybody else, contractors, roofers, furniture store owners, everybody, it's such a large segment of our economy that i don't think it's getting quite the -- we're not going in the right direction with it. just helping foreclosures isn't going to solve the problem. and i wish i was smart enough to understand what could. host: some news. tim geithner, the treasury secretary indicated the unemployment rate is going to stay around 10%. but he also said that the economy is growing faster than
the administration initially expected. guest: what you've had is that most economists believe that probably the recession ended in the last summer. june or july. and westbound economic growth since then we had economic growth since then. a lot of that was a swing in inventories. but the economists lately have been revising up their forecast for the first half of this year to around 3% or so, which is a bit higher than people had expected. but still, you're going to need sustained growth for considerable periods of time to make a dent in this unemployment rate. host: robert from tampa saying he disagrees but on the issue of inflation. saying we haven't seen the consequence of inflation just yet. guest: there is that concern. the fed's balance sheet has
soared as they put in place the number of exceptional programs to try to deal with this downturn. and the fed has kept its key federal funds rate at a record low of 0 to 0.25% for over a year now. so there is -- that worry is out there among some people. it's been eeks pressed even in the fed -- expressed in the fed itself that we could be creating the next bubble with these very low rates just as we created a housing bubble some people believe with the low rates that the fed used to deal with the 2001 downturn. on the other side, there are people who say there is no inflation there. that this country, that the recession has been so severe that if anything what we're looking at is still a threat of deflation which we haven't seen in this country since the great depression. so the two sides of that argument are out there.
host: zpwarey from virginia. republican line. good morning. caller: thank you. i'd like to say while i do approve of what obama is trying to do with this stimulus money, i don't approve of the way he's trying to do it. you take these stimulus funds being spent for these highway interchanges projects, i talked to chairman lahood i believe it was december or january anyway, on january 29 on cnn at 6:30 in the morning they had a project in nebraska where it was a railroad overpass, and nobody on either side of the tracks wanted it or felt they needed it. everybody just kind of enjoyed waiting for the train to go by when they got stuck at intersections. nobody had ever lost their lives there. there had never been an accident. it only gave two girls a flag jobs. and the reason -- and i told
mr. lahood that there's a lot of chickenry going on. and he said he couldn't imagine that. host: mike, do you want to respond to that point? guest: well, you know, i guess highway construction brings jobs. and that's what's needed. even in a place like nebraska that is weathered the economic downturn scaparettively well. -- caparettively well. host: we'll go to max yin next. good morning. guest: i'm retired, so i don't have the unemployment issue. however, i would like to relate your counties, i would like a map correlation with the tax rate. i grew up and had a lot of relatives in new jersey. i've been watching governor crist discuss the highest tax state. you were talking about the need
for private enterprise, and i look at the taxes in the health care bill that will affect individuals and small business who was the generator of new jobs. and i wonder if you can correlate your map of the highest state and state taxes in states and the impact of the expiration of the bush tax cuts and what will happen in those very dark colored counties. host: thanks for call. let me point out too, the cover story is on energy but inside is a piece by barnes and governor crist ant the issue of raising taxes. and what he says are insane. but the stress index numbers, mark, is there correlation? guest: there's no correlation between taxation and economic stress, because the two of the i guess most stressed states,
california and florida, have completely different approaches to taxation. so i don't think you can really draw any kind of relationship between taxation and economic stress. host: as you put this who project together, what surprised you the most in trying to research the u.s. economy and where we have been and maybe more importantly where we're heading? guest: well, i think mike described the aric of this very well. what we saw waws that -- was that you had a housing bubble that popped. and the states where you had a big boom where the ones that got hit first. he talked about the october 2008. well, that was when the financial crisis hit with severity. and with the collapse of lehman brothers, the stock market plunging, and credit just freezing up at that time. and so, then you saw the pain starting to spread throughout the country and then the
recession getting so much worse and through the rest of that year and then into the spring of last year. so that i guess what it has been interesting to track is just how that recession that started really in housing with the housing bubble spread to the financial sector and when the financial sector came under stress that that really then took the recession too a whole new level across the country. and you're seeing that. and our stress map is showing that, because the number came down a little bit. but it only came down from reaching -- in february from reaching a record high in january. and what that shows is that that stress level has spread out over the country. host: marty, economics writer for the associated press. and mark, you earned a masters
in trying to figure out how this works. guest: right. what's great is you can read a spreadsheet. but when you see it visually, it's just startling. you know, the data just kind of jumps off when you're able to see it visually on a map and see where the economic pain is and where the i guess the geography of the stress is. host: thank you both, gentlemen, for your time. and again,n, it's the >> monday on "washington journal," : foreclosures in the united states. the head of the league of conservation voters talks about the pending climate-change bill and the midterm election.
also, the author of "ogqmbama zombies." and then, in remembrance ceremony marking 15 years since the bombing of the federal building. speakers include a former oklahoma governor, the foreign -- current governor, and judge napolitano. that will be live just before 10:00 a.m. eastern -- and janet napolitano oh-oh. -- janet napolitano. tonight on c-span, "q&a," with a columnist and author 4 "new york daily news." -- author for "the new york